Novelties can backfire at times

Chess Checks

Novelties  can backfire at times

Openings are the most studied and researched aspect of chess and despite this there is plenty of scope for surprises, known as novelties in the early stages of the game. Sometimes the novelties click and the element of surprise brings in the point while at times, the opponent finds the reply on board or has already studied the variation at home which then results in a loss.

In the game which follows, the Opening part is a bit of a surprise, especially White’s second move. Thereafter the game gets converted into a known Opening but White misses his way in the ending.

White: Luis Galego (2419) – Black: Michal Krasenkow (2702)
Saint Vincent, 2000
 1.e4  g6
Opening the unconventional way! The Modern Opening
White too tries to respond the same way with an un-natural appearing move!
2. ..c5 3.h5 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.d3
The game has transformed to the closed variation of the Sicilian defense
If 5.Bb5 Nd4 6.Bc4 a6 7.Nce2 e6 8.Nxd4 cxd4 9.d3 h6 10.hxg6 fxg6
If 5...d6 6.h6 Bf8 7.Bg5 Be6 8.Nf3 Qb6 9.Nd5 Bxd5 10.exd5 Nd4
6.g3 d6 7.Nf3 Nd4
Anchoring his knight at the centre rather than developing his second knight
8.Bg2 Ne7 9.Bg5
If 9.Be3 Qb6 10.Rb1 Nec6 11.Ne2 Nxf3+ 12.Bxf3 Qa5+ 13.Nc3 Bd7
More or less a forced move to force the bishop to retreat or trade it for the knight
If 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.hxg6 fxg6 12.Nxd4 cxd4 (12...Bxd4 13.Rb1 Bd7 14.Ne2 Bf6) 13.Ne2 e5
10...g5 11.Nxd4 cxd4 12.Ne2
White can also think about 12.Nb5 Qb6
12. ..Nc6 13.f4. A bold pawn advance but not the right move at this point of time. White could have played 13.c3 Qb6 14.Rb1 Bd7 15.0–0 0–0 16.cxd4 Nxd4 17.Bc3 Rac8 18.Kh2 Nxe2 19.Qxe2 to maintain the balance
13...gxf4 14.gxf4
White can also consider 14.Nxf4
14...Bd7 15.Ng1
This retreat is difficult to understand! White can try to build pressure with15.b4
15. ..Qb6 16.Qb1 Rc8 17.b4 Ne7 18.a4 f5 19.Qb3 fxe4 20.Bxe4
If 20.dxe4 Rg8 21.Nh3 d3 22.Ra2 (22.c3 Bxc3 23.Bxc3 Qe3+) 22...Bc3 and black gains the upper hand
20...d5 21.Bg6+ Kd8
Black should have exchanged the bishop with his knight to keep advantage 21. ..Nxg6 22.hxg6 Qc6  23.Rc1 e5
22.0–0–0. White finally castles
If 22.Nf3 Kc7 23.Rg1 Kb8 24.Qb2
This move by Black is a surprise and gives indication that he wants to resort to artificial castling manoeuvre. He can think of 22...Nc6
23.Nf3 Kb8 24.Ne5 Bxe5 25.fxe5÷ Be8?! 26.Rhg1
A mistake! White should have continued 26.Bxe8 Rcxe8 (26...Rhxe8 27.Bxh6 Rc3 28.Qb2 Rec8 29.Rh2 Qa6 30.Bg5 Nf5 31.h6 Rxd3 32.Rdh1)
26...Bxg6 27.hxg6 Rhg8 28.Rdf1
If 28.Bxh6 Nxg6 29.Bg5 Rc3 30.Qb2 Qc7 31.Bf6 Rc8

Diagram 1

29.g7. A mistake! White should have sacrificed the exchange with 29.Rxf5 gxf5  30.
29. ..Rxg7 30.Rxg7 Nxg7 31.Bxh6 Nf5 32.Bd2
If 32.Bg5 Ne3 33.Rf2 Rg8 34.Be7 Rg1+ 35.Kd2 Nf5 36.Bf6 a5
32...Ne3 33.a5 Qb5 34.Bxe3 dxe3 35.Rf3
If 35.Kd1 d4 36.Qxe6 e2+ 37.Kxe2 Rxc2+. White can play 35.Re1
35...d4 36.Qxe6 Qa4 and White resigned

Diagram 2

White to play and checkmate in two moves
1.Rf8+ Qxf8 2.Qh7 checkmate

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